Everyone has heard of it. Everyone wants a piece of it. But, how does one effectively implement digital transformation (DT) into their existing business’ operations? When we ask our prospects what do they want to accomplish with DT, we ask this so that we can identify the meaningful and purposeful need to be met at the very end of their journey – for example: operational excellence — that makes it all worthwhile to employees, customers, partners, and the world at large.
Operational excellence transforms an organization that safely performs activities to one that performs value-prioritized activities safely and efficiently, as well as progress from automated to autonomous operations.
To observe how DT has benefitted local companies, one can look towards how the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for tele-medicine consultation tremendously. “We believe that Covid-19 has caused a long-term structural shift in the digital healthcare sector. We are responding to increasing demand for virtual medical services by offering tele-consultation via digital tools such as our International SOS Wellbeing App and through our ARC. Our tele-medicine services are currently used by our clients on offshore sites,” says David Ng, Managing Director of International SOS Malaysia and Myanmar.
So, how do we begin this journey?
Companies may begin their journey by identifying what ‘digital’ means to them? The word “digital” can convey all sorts of meanings to different companies since DT is the solution to a problem and each organization, depending on its maturity, industry, competition, value chain and ecosystems, has unique problems. Thus, it is critical for companies to diagnose the challenges that they face and determine what digital solutions are suitable to achieve its goals.
Establish the route(s) to achieve that goal. These routes could range from front-end transformation such as products and customer experiences to back-end transformation such as cloud and IT infrastructure. Below are some strategies that are being considered by companies looking for DT in the front- and back-end:
- Redesigning products and experiences to have a digital component
- Building digital ecosystems
- Monetizing the data from this IoT ecosystem
- Transforming operations and factories
- Building a strong IT infrastructure
Here comes the tricky part, getting executive buy-in. Change leadership plays a big role in here and it is a make-or-break situation at times. Surveys conducted has shown a 62% increase in board support for digital transformation from 2016 to 2018, which is a significant jump for a fairly short time period. This step is one of the most reliable signs of a company’s strategic commitment to digital transformation.
Find internal partners to support and accompany each other in the DT journey. These partners could:
- Deliver capabilities to encourage transformation
- Offer consulting services that will help integrate digital technology
- Help navigate the landscape of digital innovation
- Share successful approaches and best practices
Clearly communicating the company’s plan and vision to the workforce, this step is just as important as coming up with the strategy. Provide employees with transparency, a clear structure and plan and adequate training to prepare them for the digital transformation.
Last but not least, begin the DT journey. Make haste and execute the plan, time waits for no one.